The word pesto comes from the Italian verb ‘pestare‘ (meaning ‘to crush’), which is fitting, given that our red pesto sauce, indeed every traditional pesto, is made by hand with a pestle and mortar. Our red pesto recipe is decadent yet refreshing, and seriously simple to make at home.
Here at Pasta Evangelists, we’re pretty serious about how we make our red pesto pasta. We’ve searched far and wide for Italy’s finest sun-dried tomatoes, which we source from sun-drenched Sicily – where they are carefully harvested and dried beneath the Mediterranean sun. Our red pesto recipe is especially unique as it is a blend between sun-dried tomato pesto and Pesto alla Trapanese (a Sicilian almond and tomato-based alternative to the basil and pine nut version from Liguria), giving you the best of both worlds.
We’ve perfected our red pesto recipe over the years and have finally decided to let you in on the secret. It’s super easy to make at home, however, if you’re craving a fresh pasta fix pronto, feel free to peruse our weekly menu.
To prepare our blushing, red pesto recipe, we crush cloves of garlic with sun-dried tomatoes and almonds from Sicily, as well as fresh basil leaves, before slowly adding Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and anointing with olio extravergine d’oliva, made from the very best olives.
Which pasta to pair red pesto with
Oil-based sauces like red pesto pair well with twist or shell pasta shapes like fusilli, trofie or orecchiette, as their curls, grooves and dimples excel at capturing the flavoursome sauce. Alternatively, longer shapes like spaghetti, linguine or tagliolini are good choices as each strand will become coated in velvety pesto.
Our red pesto recipe with sundried tomatoes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 229 kcal
- 125g sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 60g blanched almonds
- 30g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Handful of basil leaves
- Black pepper & sea salt to taste
Watch as our Head Chef Roberta guides you through step-by-step instructions on how to make a rustic red pesto. The full recipe is below.
- Toast the almonds until they are a light golden colour in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Keep them moving to prevent burning.
- Add garlic, basil leaves, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil to a pestle and mortar and grind until creamy.
- Add the almonds and grind until they start to combine. You should have a creamy yet slightly chunky consistency.
- Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the mixture and squash them gently into the mixture.
- Add in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and drizzle the remaining olive oil. Combine into a creamy paste. We recommend leaving it a little rustic.
- We recommend eating straight away, but you can always place in clean mason jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- When you’re ready to eat, simply heat the pesto in a saucepan, and toss with freshly cooked pasta. We recommend pairing with a Puglian favourite like orecchiette.
Chef’s tip: If you don’t have a pestle and mortar at home you can use a food processor. Just remember that pesto is meant to have some character and bite, so be sure to not over grind.